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No One is Watching the Same Streaming Ads


At this point, whether you’re a media buyer, publisher or simply a consumer of media, we’re all familiar with the streaming wars. But that doesn’t mean we’re on the same page about the state of streaming; in fact, we’re sure that’s not the case. Data intelligence firm, Conviva, has released their State of Streaming Advertising Report, and the research clearly shows a divide between how media sellers, buyers and consumers are interpreting important aspects like ad quality and measurement capabilities.


You may be wondering, does this actually matter? Well, until it feels like we’re actually watching the same ads, we can’t expect to get the most value from this advertising channel.


What the Numbers Tell Us


When it comes to ad quality, the viewers are not impressed.


When comparing in-stream ads shown on streaming platforms to commercials aired on linear networks, Conviva reports that 69% of media sellers and 55% of media buyers agreed they were of equal quality. Meanwhile, only about a third (35%) of viewers feel the same way. On top of that, only 36% of consumers report being satisfied with advertising on streaming platforms overall.


There are a few reasons the people watching are not loving the ad experience as much as the people buying and selling. First, over half (54%) of viewers report slow loading speeds which lead to them abandoning the stream entirely — after just a five-second ad delay, 19.24% of viewers have already abandoned the stream completely. Secondly, when ads do play, 59% of viewers say ad repetition remains a frustrating issue for them.


For their own reasons, media buyers also have their own frustrations with the streaming ad ecosystem. Only 8% of buyers report feeling that streaming content includes context that is safe for the brand, signalling that publishers aren’t being transparent with buyers about what they’re buying.


Viewers also lack confidence in consumer privacy.


Another area where buyers and sellers seem to have a different perspective than the consumers is privacy. Whereas 69% of media buyers and 75% of publishers say they factor in applicable privacy laws, less than one-third of viewers believe their privacy is being protected. This is a key area where both buyers and sellers could do more to build trust among consumers, as 29% of viewers have felt uncomfortably targeted by streaming ads.


Measuring performance is one area where buyers and sellers don’t see eye-to-eye.


On the subject of measurement abilities, buyers and sellers don’t seem to agree on much. According to Conviva, 70% of sellers report feeling confident in the medium’s current measurement abilities, while only 39% of buyers would say the same. This disparity highlights a major issue that streaming platforms need to solve to be successful in the long-term.


Other areas of divergence include Connected TV; nearly 80% of sellers think measuring campaign effectiveness is harder on CTV than other video platforms, while only 19% of buyers agree. Likewise, 70% of sellers feel pixels and ad servers are too limited to deliver advanced ad measurement for streaming, but only 26% of buyers say the same. 70% of sellers also said they were satisfied with channel network visibility for programmatic buys while only 44% of buyers agreed. Are you noticing a pattern?


When buyers and sellers can’t even agree on what needs improvement in the streaming ad ecosystem, it will be difficult to satisfy everyone moving forward. Both need proper data and tools to effectively run campaigns, but exactly what they need is still an open question in many cases.


We’re Watching, So You Don’t Have To


Everyone can at least agree that streaming advertising presents a huge opportunity for marketers, but with so much uncertainty in the space, brands and buyers alike are wise to proceed with caution. If you’re curious about your prospects in the OTT/CTV arena, contact The Ward Group today. Our media planners and buyers are eager to answer all of your questions and find the best ways to optimize your media budget.